I’m going to start this article with a disclaimer. If you’re not really a fan of the guy just read the short version, close the window and go back to watching cat videos. This post will be only interesting to those who’ve read some of his works and know a bit about his habits or are interested in them.
The guy was a much better writer then an interior decorator.
Balzac’s house in Paris is the last one he lived in and the last one that has stood the test of time. The house itself is not spectacular, the museum is nothing too special. Everything is written only in French, so bring you language knowledge or a dictionary. Although on the website is stated that it’s free to visit it will cost you 5 euro to enter if you are over 26 or 3 something if you are under. On Sundays it’s free though. It can be found on 47 Rue Raynouard.
Neither the house nor the courtyard are blowing your mind but they have a nice vibe to them.
The house inside is not particularly spectacular either. His writing room is the only truly interesting part of the whole exhibition. Albeit not being huge it is the only room of the house that takes you back in time.
He was known for an incredible capacity for work and an obsession with perfection. Balzac would work for 16-17 hours per day. He would go over and over again the same manuscript as many as 20 times on occasion. You can see some of the corrected writings on his desk, the guy was ruthless when it came to mistakes. Here is a panorama picture of his office:
Besides this another slightly interesting part of the visit was the categorization of his work. It is done very simply, yet it is a very efficient mean of presenting the writings. There are three big categories as you will see below: Analytical studies, Philospical and Studies of Manners.
All things considered it was a nice visit. I spend somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour there, but I really took my time. If you just want to see a famous French writer’s house it is not the place to visit, but if you want to see Balzac’s house go for it by all means.